Tuesday, December 9, 2014

PEP Talks- 21 months

So my mom and I were looking at the calendar, and we did some math, and wouldn't you know it? I am 21 months old already!  I guess I should fill you all in on how I've been doing the last three months.  There's a whole bunch to cover, so I'll get started.

October was so fun! There was a bouncy house and a big slide and a pumpkin patch, just like last year (apparently. I don't remember.  After all, I was only 7 months old at the time!).  We had a BLAST! Daddy and Mommy took me down the slide and let me go in the bouncy house with them.  It was hard to walk around in there, but I loved it!

I also go to a Fall Festival and Trunk or Treat.  Mommy and Daddy dressed up as Hipsters, and I was a Starbucks Frapp.  Everybody thought I was so cute! Especially in my glasses.  Mommy borrowed a pair from Aunt Ryan.  When I saw her wearing them, I put on the other pair all by myself and wore them all night!

In November, we celebrated Thanksgiving.  It was nice getting to see my family.  We went up the weekend before to see Mommy's side of the family, and Thanksgiving day was spend with Daddy's side.  I ate foods I have refused to eat every other time I've been offered them! What can I say? I have to keep Mommy on her toes!

So that's what I've been up to; now a little about me.

I have decided I like to nap.  Gasp, you should.  Why I fought it so hard for so long is beyond me.  I am in such a better mood after my nap! And so are my parents!  And not only do I nap, but I nap HARD! I'm talking two and a half or three hours at a time on a good day.  I started transitioning to napping by watching a super amazing show on Netflix called "Flowers."  It has close-ups of flowers blooming and rain falling... And the music! It is so relaxing.  I just couldn't help myself.  I was mesmerized.  Slowly, my eyelids began to droop... All of the sudden, it was two hours later.  I felt amazing, ready to take on the world! Soon after, I grew accustomed to watching my special show everyday at the same time.  I started getting sleepy at that time no matter if the show was on or not.  Now, Mommy asks, "Are you ready for night-night?"  I AM! I lay in my crib and curl up with my blanket and Frederick, and I take a nap.  It's glorious.

I'm also getting much better at eating different foods.  I still have my favorites (fish sticks are still the best), but I am willing to try new things.  I love burgers and tacos.  I love soup (I get that from my mom!). Mac and cheese, veggies, fruits of all kinds... The only thing I will not eat is chicken.  Do you know what chicken is? It's a CHICKEN! You know, the kind that goes, "Bock, bock, bock."  I have never liked chicken, but Mommy and Daddy finally figured out why.  They gave me my plate of chicken.  I looked at it and back at them and started "bock, bock, bock-ing."  Don't they know chicken is a sweet little animal? It's in my Barnyard Dance book.  And they want me to eat it?!? How horribly cruel! I refuse.  No chicken for me. 

The best thing that's been happening is that I've really been talking even more, to the point that Mommy and Daddy know what I'm saying and can answer me back.  We have conversations!  I can say some pretty big sentences.  One afternoon, I told Mommy, "Duck swims in the water!"  She was so thrilled that I said it again and again. And again.  And a few more times until I pretty much wore it out.  But Mommy loved hearing it.  Another thing I say is "I'm okay!"  If I fall or if I'm hiding, my parents will ask me, "Are you okay?" and I say, "I'm okay!" It comes out "Hockey Kay!" I even ask my toys if they're okay if they fall off the couch or if I drop them.  I'm very considerate.  I use my words when I want something, and I am very specific.  Mommy says I'm going to keep talking better and better.  It will be so nice to talk to everybody when I'm bigger!

Looking forward, I am excited to celebrate Christmas! Mommy and Daddy put the tree up one night while I was asleep.  I love the tree so much.  I am very gentle with the tree.  I know what I'm allowed to touch and what I need to leave alone.  I love all the "lights" and "balls." The presents are pretty fun, too.  I may or may not have seen Mommy do this, but what I do is pick up a present and gently shake it back and forth.  Then I put it up to my ear (or Mommy's ear if it's her present), and I say, "What could it be?" It comes out pretty much just a high-pitched "Be?" but that's what I mean. 

Mommy and Daddy started a new tradition with me for Advent.  Every night, I get to open a new Christmas story book! It is my favorite part of the day.  I love books, so this is the perfect thing for me.  I open the book and sit in either Mommy or Daddy's lap while they read the story to me.  At the end, I say, "Again?"  This continues for a few re-readings.  I'm only on book 9, but I'll fill you all in on the rest next time I post. 

I can't wait to tell you all about my Christmas.  I may not be able to wait three more months to post.  There's too much going on, and I'm worried I'm forgetting things and leaving them out, which misses the point of the whole thing.  Yes.  I think I'll have to write more often.  If I can pry Mommy away from the computer! She is almost done with her English degree, and she is working hard. I keep telling her itt will all be worth it!  I even cheer her on.  Mommy was upset one evening, so Daddy and I shouted, "Go, Mommy!" It made her feel a lot better.  We are really proud of her; I hope she doesn't forget that!

I'll leave you with a few pictures from the last few months.  Until next time,

Parker E. Poe

Monday, November 24, 2014

Loaded Potato and Buffalo Chicken Casserole

Preheat oven to 500. Spray a 9x13 pan with non-stick spray. Mix 1/3 c olive oil, 1 and a half tsp salt, 1T pepper, 1 T paprika, 2 T garlic, and 6 T hot sauce. Cube 8-10 medium-sized potatoes (1/2 inch cubes). Coat with hot sauce mixture.  Spread into pan and bake for 45-50 minutes. Reduce heat to 400. Cube 2 lb chicken (1 inch pieces). Coat in sauce. Spread over potatoes. Top with 2 c shredded cheese and 1 c crumbled bacon. Bake for 15 minutes. Top with sour cream and chives. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Chicken Soup with Spinach, Carrots, and Gnocchi

This is the perfect soup to make if you have a cold. Or if you are cold. Or if you just really like soup. 

8 baby carrots, finely grated
2 tbs butter
2 tbs flour
8 cups of chicken broth (or 8 cups of water with 8 bullion cubes)
2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
Onion powder and garlic powder to taste
2 cups whole milk
16 oz package dried gnocchi (I found mine at Aldi)
2 cups spinach, tear after measuring
2 tbs each of butter and flour (to make a roux to thicken)

Melt butter in large pot. Add carrots and flour. Cook for about a minute. Add chicken broth to pot. Add seasonings and chicken. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Heat milk in separate pot. Pour into broth. Add gnocchi and torn spinach. Simmer for 15 more minutes or until the gnocchi is tender. To thicken, make a roux in a separate pot by melting the butter and stirring the flour into the butter. Cook for a minute and add to soup. Simmer, stirring constantly for the first minute, until thickened. Season to taste with salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Chicken Cordon Bleu Soup

Warning- this soup is really rich and really fattening and REALLY delicious!!!

Another fall soup recipe; I can't get enough!

1/4 c butter
1/4 c flour
2.5 c milk
2.5 c half and half
2 chicken bullion cubes, smashed
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2-3 cups cooked chicken
1 8 oz package smoked prosciutto, chopped
1 c shredded Swiss cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Garlic powder and onion powder to taste

Melt butter in non-stick pot and add flour to make a roux. Cook for about a minute. Add in milk, half and half, and bullion cubes. Heat for a couple minutes over medium heat. Add cream cheese. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil to thicken. When thick, remove from heat. Add chicken, prosciutto, and Swiss cheese. Season to taste. Serve with toasted sourdough bread for dipping. 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Philly Cheesesteak Soup in a Bread Bowl

On what has been the coldest day so far this fall, I could think of nothing more comforting than a big bowlof hot soup, and this recipe was sure to please!

Philly Cheesesteak Soup in a Bread Bowl

1 box (14 slices) steak-ums
Onion powder
Garlic powder
4 tbs flour
1 tbs olive oil
Chopped onion, mushrooms, bell peppers (all optional; use as much or as little as you want)
4 cups beef broth
4 slices provolone cheese
4 small sourdough loaves

Break steaks into pieces and place them in a bowl. Add salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and 2 tbs flour. Mix to coat. In a hot non-stick pot, cook the steak until no longer pink. Set aside. In the same pot, add olive oil, peppers, onions, and mushrooms. Cook until tender.  Add in 2 more tbs flour, mixing well and breaking up flour "clumps." Add four cups beef broth. Bring to boil and summer for 10 minutes to thicken. Add cornstarch and cold Walter mixed together to thicken more if necessary.  Add steaks. Ladle into hollowed-out bread loaves and top with a slice of provolone. Place bread bowl son a baking sheet and broil until cheese is melty, bubbly, and golden. It will be very hot!!

My husband loved it so much, he are every bite, including the bowl! It was just right on a chilly night like tonight. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

DIY Starbucks Cup Halloween Costume

We had our Fall Festival at church this evening, and I was so excited to reveal our costumes, particularly Parker's!!

This was a super simple costume to make.  Absolutely NO SEW! She already had the white shirt and leggings. All I needed was the "sleeve" with the logo. I bought a piece of tan felt and cut it in half length-wise.  I measured it around my daughter's belly and hotglued one end together.  Then I attached self-stick velcro on the other ends to make it removable.  I Google-searched images for the logo and printed it off on my home printer on a 4x6 background.  I cut it out and attached it to the felt using spray adhesive.  You could use iron-on paper, but I didn't have any on hand.  The spray adhesive held up really well!

For the headband, I cut a piece of oval felt the size I wanted the "whipped cream" to be.  Then, I simply hotglued stretched-out cotton balls all over it.  I hotglued the straw to the cotton and added more cotton balls to cover up the base of the straw and make it more sturdy.

The glasses frames were all my daughter's idea.  I borrowed a pair from a friend to wear for my costume.  When Parker saw mine, she picked up the other pair and demanded, "Glasses, Momma!" She put them on herself and wore them the whole night! It was the perfect touch for our Hipster Halloween!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Painted desk

Have you ever had one of hose days where everything seems to be going downhill and then one little thing changes all that? Well today was that day and this desk was that thing. 

I made a split decision to drive past a really hit-or-miss thrift/junk store that's right by my house. Seriously, I've found some great stuff there, but other times, it can be a total bust. They always have some items in the parking lot, so I thought I'd take a quick peek. Well, I saw this desk sitting next to the ugliest recliner you've ever seen. I had to rescue it.  The price tag said $9.99. 

Let me repeat that. 

The price tag. Said $9.99. 

Less than $10 for this gem!

I eve found a Ralph Lauren Polo dress for my daughter for $1.99. I scored today people. 

So I got the desk and brought it home. I couldn't wait. I had to start on it immediately. The wood was in really good condition. I sanded it down just to make it a little smoother. I painted on one coat of white leaving the seat and the desk top natural wood. Then, I heavily distressed the white parts. I sealed the natural wood with polycrylic to make it a bit more durable. 

Total, this piece took about an hour and a half to complete, including waiting on the paint to dry. I'm planning on keeping this and using it for photo shoots! Also, I can imagine my daughter doing homework on it when she gets older. I got really lucky with the thrift store today! It will be hard to top a great find like this one!

Monday, October 13, 2014

These little lights of mine

I was looking through one of the online yard sales that I follow and I found these two lamps. A friend I used to teach with had chalk painted a lamp, so I thought about giving it a shot. I picked up the pair for only $8!

I used my new favorite paint color- Valspar's Sea Sage. It took three coats to give it the coverage I wanted with no streaks.

Then I lightly distressed the edges and some of the grooves. I tried glazing it, but I didn't like how that looked, so I wiped it off. 

The lamp cords were that awful gold color that never blends in with any decor. My solution was simple, yet time consuming. I wrapped the cords in jute. I ran some hot glue up one side of the cord and wrapped the jute, then repeated up the entire thing. Each one took about an hour and a half to do. Thank goodness "Gilmore Girls" is on Netflix!

I gave the lamps a couple top coats of Minwax polycrylic  I like how it gave it an almost laquer-like finish. 

This was such a fun transformation.  I did one at a time, so I could get a good idea of the before and after.

It'd be such a shame if they didn't sell, and I had to keep them.  It's not like it matches my bedroom perfectly or anything ;)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

"It is well with my soul"

In my life recently, there have been a lot of things going on. Several people I know have been diagnosed with cancer. School and work have been stressful. Trying to start a small business (in addition to my other small business) has been time-consuming. We had several, very expensive and very unexpected expenses... All-in-all, it has not been great. 

But I was reminded of the old hymn. I may not be able to say things are "great," but can I at least say "It is well?"

"Whatever my lot, you have taught me to say, 'It is well. It is well with my soul.'" 

Things may not be easy right now, but I am working on keeping my priorities in order, and my number one priority is my relationship with Christ. He will never give me more than I can handle; through Him, I can do all things! And because I know those things and believe them with my whole heart, I can say, indeed, "It is well with my soul!"  

I did this painting tonight. I painted a wooden board dark gray and did a coat of light gray dry brushing over the top. I printed outy words and places them in the board. Using a ball-point pen, I etched the outline of the letters. Then, I filled them in with white paint. My hand-lettering is not perfect, but I like the imperfections. It reminds me that not everything is always going to be perfectly beautiful. It might be "accidentally wonderful" instead. But I will still say, "It is well with my soul!"

Friday, October 3, 2014


This is not my daughter.  

She does not have perfectly fixed hair in which I have fastened the perfect hair bows to perfectly coordinate with her clean, expensive outfit.  She is also not this still.  Ever. She does what she wants.  If she wants to grind her cracker into the couch, she will do so no matter how many times I tell her to stop.  She is almost 19 months old, and she is a prime example of a toddler.

This is not my house.  

I do not have a beautifully landscaped yard free of weeds and fallen leaves.  I do not have Corinthian columns standing guard to the entrance of my home.  I do not even have a second story, let alone a second fire place. The sidewalk in front of my house is non-existent. I do not live in a gated community.  I do have a privacy fence, but my neighbors have a really tall deck, so... Anyway. 

This is not my kitchen.

I do not have marble counter tops.  I do not have a sink specifically to rinse off fresh-picked vegetables from my {imaginary} garden.  I do not have a gorgeous tile back splash behind my amazing stove and oven combo.  I definitely don't have the thing that is at the bottom of the picture with the glass door.  I'm not even sure what that thing is.

This is not my living room.

I do not have a white couch.  Even if I did have a white couch, I would not have a white couch (see the comment about my daughter).  My house is not accessorized without being cluttered, an accomplishment I have yet to complete.  My living room is not open and airy, nor is it flooded with natural light. 

This is not how my husband and I spend our evenings.

Just... no.

And that should be fine with me.  

But for some reason, it hasn't been.

There is so much judgement passed on wives and mothers.  Judgement about how we raise our kids.  Judgement about how we keep house.  Judgement about our husbands.  And we do it to each other.  We have become so focused on how we look to everyone else that we try to change what our lives are, or at least how they appear.  As I was finding images to illustrate what my life wasn't, it occurred to me: none of these pictures are real.

Each picture has been staged.  That little girl was fixed up by a team of professionals.  That living room and kitchen have been styled past the point of reality.  No one lives there, or at least, not really.  That happy couple... nobody sits like that.  At least not for any length of time.  It's uncomfortable.  It looks nice on film, though.  

But even though they aren't real, I still find myself longing for what they represent.  All the little details that I get so caught up in: trying to make my house look perfect, trying to seem like my child is perfectly behaved and that I have the perfect marriage.  I focus on the appearance rather than the reality.  

I found this verse today:
"But the Lord said to her, 'My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.'" Luke 10:41-42

Well, go ahead and call me "Martha."

I have been so focused on all the little details of my life, I have forgotten what my priorities should be.  First, I need to focus on my walk with Jesus.  In all the craziness of working full time, being back in school, having a one year old, and so forth and so on, I sometimes forget to stop and take time in the Word.  I get so wrapped up in my to-do list that I forget to be thankful that I have things to do in the first place.  Last week, I had a paper to write, so I skipped church Sunday morning.  I did not take a rain check and reschedule dinner plans with friends.  Instead, I neglected the most important relationship I have. And I did it without a second thought.  

My next priority should be time with my family.  After working in a high-stress job all day, I am exhausted by the time I get to pick up my daughter from her babysitter. Then when I get home, there are the household chores (because I want my house to look like a magazine), dinner to be cooked (because I have to look like Rachel Ray), and school work to be done (gotta keep that GPA up).  I get overwhelmed by everything I have to do that night.  Meanwhile, I have an amazing daughter who is growing up way too fast while I complete my to-do list.  I do not necessarily want to watch the same episodes of "Paw Patrol" over and over, or read the same book again and again.  But it makes her smile.  It makes her smile at me. Making her smile.  Now, that's a priority I should have. The same with my husband.  He leaves the house at 6:25 every morning and gets home at 6:00 that night.  Do I greet him at the door smiling? Not as often as I should.  Most often it's, "I'm glad you're home.  I need to go work on [insert something/anything here]."  We aren't even in the same room most evenings.  Sure, we tell the same stories about our days that we've heard over and over again, but it is important that we take the time to tell them.  It is more important that we take the time to listen to them

After coming to these realizations, I have come up with a new "hashtag" for my life: #becomingmary

Mary was the one who left the chores for another time.  She did not cook a big meal.  She did not clean the house.  But even as these things were left undone, Mary was doing something important. She was working on her relationship with Jesus.  She did not let the little details of her life overshadow the big picture of what is most important.  So as I work on becoming less like Martha and more like Mary, my prayer is that I am willing to give up control over the little things.  My house may be messy.  Dinner may come from a paper bag.  I may be rushed to complete a school assignment.  But my priorities will be in order.  I will be in the Word.  I will spend real time with my family- not just present in the house, but a presence in their lives.  I will leave things to be completed tomorrow, and I will be okay with that.  

Because I am #becomingmary  

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Cinnamon Sugar Butternut Squash

This was so easy to make and really satisfied my sweet tooth in a healthy way!

All I did was steam a bag of pre-chopped butternut squash in about an inch of water. To steam it, simply boil for 3-4 minutes. Then I drained the water and added a tbs of butter along with a small sprinkling of cinnamon and sugar to taste. Stir it up and serve hot! A perfect dish to welcome Fall!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Gone Fishin' Party Mix

In honor if the premiere of Dolphin Tale 2, the students made a fun, fishy-themed version of Chex Mix. The recipe was part of the weekly curriculum, but it was so delicious, I just had to share!

1 bag original goldfish crackers
1 bag pizza flavored goldfish crackers
6 cups pretzel sticks
1 stick butter, melted
1 tsp worchestershire sauce
1 pack dry ranch dressing mix

Mix the crackers and pretzels in a deep 9x13 pan. Mix butter, sauce, and dressing mix. Pour over the crackers. Stir to coat. Bake at 250 for an hour, stirring occasionally. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

This is Home

I saw a cute idea on Pinterest where someone had painted a wooden sign with the word "home," but the "o" was the shape of Texas painted with A&M colors. I loved the idea and wanted to give it a try myself. 

In my classroom, the lead teacher had recently replaced an old, cheap bookshelf that had broken. The two removable shelves were still in good condition, so they came home with me to  participate in my crafty experiments. 

 I drew my letters on to the shelf by printing out the size I needed in a funky font, covering the back of the paper in chalk, and then tracing over the outline of the letters. This leaves a chalk outline on the surface underneath. Then I painted them white.  I traced out the state and stenciled a chevron pattern on it. Then it was time for the ultimate question... Alabama or Auburn??

My father-in-law was the first to voice his opinion, and when your father-in-law speaks, you listen! So Auburn it was! I printed out a chevron pattern and traced it into the state outline. I filled it in with blue and orange. 

But being the Bama fan that I am, I couldn't go too long without making another one. I chose a different font just to change it up and show another style. This is also a book shelf, just a different one. 

For this state, I found houndstooth scrapbook paper and printed the state outline onto the paper. I cut it out and used some spray adhesive to glue it down. It still needed something, so I outlined the paper with a white paint pen. The Auburn sign needed something too, so I outlined the state and the stripes with white, as well. 

Then I sealed each one with Minwax polycrylic. There is no way that scrapbook paper is peeling up!! It's sealed very well!

So whether you roll with the tide or yell, "War eagle," these signs are sure to please!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Yard Sale Mirror re-vamp

Last Saturday, I went yard sale-ing (yes, that's a word) with my mother-in-law. We found some amazing pieces! My favorite was an old rocking horse that I paid $5 for!! It painted pink with pink yarn for a mane and tail, but I have big plans to re-do it. However, that's going to be a big project, and I've been pretty swamped with big projects through my furniture business. Instead of starting another big piece, I started doing a few smaller pieces. One of them was this gaudy gold mirror. 

It was originally from Kirkland's so it a high quality mirror. It just needed a new look. Of course, I'm happy to oblige!

I still have some dark charcoal gray left over from another piece, so I gave the whole thing two coats.

I really love this color.  It is such a lovely gray.  But by itself, it hid all the little details of the frame's design.  To bring it out, I used pure white paint.  I barely dipped just the edge of a sponge brush into the paint and, with a very light hand, simply brushed over the frame so that the raised parts would get painted, but the other parts would stay dark.

As you can see, the white really brought out the features of the frame.  I posted this on my Facebook page, and within a few hours, it had sold.  Good thing, because I was starting to look around in my house for a place to keep it! It really turned out nicely =)

Sunday, September 21, 2014

PEP Talks- 18 months

Can you believe another three months has already gone by!? And they really seemed to fly this time.  I guess I better get started filling you all in...

After I turned 15 months old in June, I started learning things really quickly! Mom and Dad tried to keep a list of words that I know, but by now, there are too many to count! I don't always use them in the correct context, and sometimes I'm just repeating what they say (or trying to), but most of the time, I know what I mean.  And now, so do they! No longer must I cry and make them guess what I want.  I will tell them "diaper" when I need a change.  I say "milk" or "bites" if I'm hungry or thirsty.  Sometimes I even get specific about the "bites" and demand some "oh-gurt" (my special way of saying yogurt).  I also still love "gi-gicks" (fish sticks), but I always make sure that Mommy and Daddy and anyone else knows that fish sticks are HOT when they come out of the oven.  I even show them how to blow on them to cool them down.

So that has really helped me not have to cry so much.  I don't cry often.  When I do, it's usually for a reason.  Something that some of you many not realize about me is that I am very shy.  Once I get to know you a little bit, I'll warm up to you, but if you get too close before then, I don't like it.  Mommy says that's perfectly fine.  Being shy is nothing to be shy about ;)  I also cry sometimes if I can't do something that I think I should be able to do.  Like climb the fireplace.  Or go outside by myself.  Or put all the toilet paper in the toilet (even though that's where it's going to go anyway).  When I find out I can't do something, I just sort of melt into the ground.  I don't make a big scene.  I just curl up in a ball on the floor.  I guess I'm embarrassed that I got in "trouble."

I'm also working on using a fork and a spoon.  I have a really good "grip" technique for the utensils.  I don't go overhanded or use it like a shovel.  Sometimes Mommy or Daddy helps me by holding on to the end to help guide the fork to my mouth (sometimes it gets away from me), but I do a pretty good job on my own.  I even feed my friends!

At my 18 month check up, I found out that I have FINALLY gained some weight! My doctor was very happy! I'm still small, but not quite so tiny.  I am up to 21 lbs.  I'm still at 30 inches, but that was expected, my doctor said.  She still thinks I'm going to be on the shorter side.  But that's just fine! I'm a very healthy toddler (good work, Mommy and Daddy!).

So enough about my growing.  Let's talk about my summer!!

Summer (especially June) is my favorite time of year because Mommy and Daddy get to be home with me all day! We took a week long vacation back in June to stay with my Paigey in Mommy and Daddy's home town! I got to see where they met and went to college.  I got to play at the park and ride a Merry-Go-Round! Aunt Jessica and Uncle Anthony came with us, and Aunt Jessica took some great pictures of my family.  I got to spend time with Omi and Opa and Uncle Jake and his "gog" (dog) Hank.  Opa showed me the big flowers he grows in his garden.  When we went back to visit them in July, I remembered! When I saw him, I said, "Opa! Fl-ows!"  He smiled so big!!
On the Merry-Go-Round

At UNA- where Mommy and Daddy went to college

After we got back from our vacation, we made the most of our time at home together.  One special thing that Mommy and I did was that she took me outside and let me play in the rain! I love rain so much.  I always announce when it starts.  I stand at the glass door and watch it pour! I'm not even scared of the "fud-der" (thunder)! One afternoon, when it was just a steady rain coming down, Mommy and I went outside and I got to feel it all over my head and arms and everywhere! I splashed in the puddles! It was the most fun.  Now, whenever it rains, I always ask to go "sow-side" (outside) to play in it.  Sometimes we can, and sometimes we can't.  I think Mommy might always remember that first time though.  It was like magic!

In July, I got to spend some fun time with Daddy's side of the family outside! We went to my Grandma and Poppa's house.  My Nanna was there, too.  That's my Grandma's mommy! She took me around the garden.  We picked veggies and flowers.  I even got to ride on Poppa's lawn mower when he brought it over to our house! Being outside is one of my favorite things.  It's really hot right now though, but once it cools down, I hope we can be outside playing a lot!

Something else really fun happened in July.  My best friend turned ONE! She had a big birthday party at her MiTessa's house with swimming pools, bubbles, and lots of yummy food! It was so fun getting to celebrate with her.

Happy birthday, Lucy!!

In August, school started back, so I went back to stay with KayKay.  Sissy started college this fall at Auburn University, so I don't get to see her very often, but KayKay lets me steal some "Facetime" with her when she calls.  I give her lots of kisses through the phone! I tell her that I am taking very good care of her dog, Suzy, when I talk to her.  I love to play with Suzy.  Maybe one day I can have a dog of my own, but until then, I am happy to play with Suzy at KayKay's house!

Also, it is the start of FOOTBALL SEASON!!!!! I love getting to go to the football games and watch the band perform.  I love the drums; I always have, even when Mommy was still pregnant with me.  I would kick and flip, and now I clap and bounce to the rhythm.  I can't help it! I got the music in me!

I had a lot of fun this summer! Thanks for keeping up with me!

Until next time,
Parker E. Poe